The professional basketball team, Miami Heat, is not happy with the National Basketball Association for not informing them of a planned basketball clinic in Cuba.
Now that the United States and Cuba relations are getting a little better (still a long way to go, but…) the NBA decided to take advantage of the positive rapport and together with FIBA (International Basketball Federation) they will host a four-day developmental camp in Havana, Cuba, April 23-26.
Yet, the Miami Heat is the only team – out of 30 NBA teams – that apposes the trip. Why, you ask? Well, the Heat’s small but very loud Cuban fan base in Miami don’t appreciate any association with the Castro-led Cuba that forced them out of their homeland.
In fact, the Heat didn’t know about the trip until they read it in the newspapers. The Heat said they were surprised that the NBA – knowing of their fan base – did not first speak to them, at least out of courtesy. “The NBA never consulted with us. This was undertaken unilaterally. The minute we found out we registered our vehement objection to the league office. Neither the Heat nor any personnel will be participating,” a team executive said to the Miami Herald.
Heat owner Micky Arison and team president and NBA Hall of Famer Pat Riley declined to comment.
“In the continued effort to strengthen our national federations, it is extremely gratifying to see Cuba serve as the center of a development camp of this magnitude,” said FIBA President Horacio Muratore during the NBA’s first Cuba trip announcement.
“This is a country that loves basketball and we are proud to work together with the NBA on this historic venture.”